As the trade war between the United States and China continues, with indications that it may escalate even further, most U.S.-based lobster companies have seen their exports to China fall dramatically.
Despite the decrease, many companies say the market for lobster is still strong enough to keep the impact to their companies at a minimum. Some companies that never invested heavily into Chinese exports said2018 has been a better-than-average year.
“I’ve been processing lobster since 1993,” John Norton, CEO of Cozy Harbor of Portland, Maine, U.S.A, which specializes in fresh and frozen lobster tails, told SeafoodSource. “I’ve never seen a market this strong for lobster tails, ever.”
That strong demand is largely offsetting the effects of the tariffs on most of the lobster industry. Boat prices for lobster, said Norton, have remained similar to those seen in 2017.
The frozen market in Maine, said Norton, typically consumes around 50 percent of the state’s catch, while exports to China only make up between five and 10 percent.